Can’t believe we’re wrapping up August already! With Fall (in the Northern Hemisphere) upon us, we’re starting a new conference season. AvidThink was at VMware Explore (formerly known as VMworld) just this week and was inundated with multi-cloud messaging. Who knew the world was so hot for the multi-cloud? It’s true that a big percentage of large enterprises (60-80% depending on whose numbers you’re looking at) have workloads in two or more public and private clouds. But whether everyone needs a single abstraction layer across those clouds today is debatable since many of these cloud decisions are business unit or company division based. Nevertheless, VMware presented evidence that their Switzerland-like ability to deploy, manage, and observe workloads across private and public has value for leading enterprises. More details in our newsletter below.
VMware also pitched its updated telco strategy, including its expanded edge approach and Project Monterey’s major advancement. The new vSphere 8 supports moving the hypervisor into the DPU/SmartNIC. This mimics AWS’s Nitro architecture, plus SmartNICs have been part of hyperscaler platforms since Microsoft unveiled their Catapult project many years back. O-RAN and the RAN Intelligence Controller (RIC) got the requisite attention, and DISH was prominently featured as a VMware/Mavenir success story on the RAN.
While VMware Explore showcased advancements in virtualization, even exclusive analyst access to Raghu Raghuram (CEO) and Ray O’Farrell (EVP) shed zero new light on their new overlord, Broadcom, and integration plans (no surprise).
Meanwhile, right before VMworld, we attended IIT BayCon — organized by the alumni of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. For more on that event and how it became a big kick in the pants for me to pay attention to sustainability, check out our blog post.
Before we get to the news, a reminder that AvidThink will be at loads of Events this Fall: VMware Explore (done), and up next are MWC Americas (Las Vegas), Topio’s Edge Computing World (Santa Clara), OCP Summit (San Jose), FutureNet Asia (Singapore), Fyuz Event comprising O-RAN, TIP, Meta (Madrid), Upperside SD-WAN/SASE (Paris), Linux Foundation ONE Summit (Seattle), AWS re:Invent (Las Vegas), Layer 123 World Congress (London), and the RISC-V Summit (San Jose).
Finally, don’t be shy to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating or sponsoring upcoming sites: telco and edge infrastructure (launching shortly), the new middle mile (in progress), SD-WAN/SASE, private mobile networks, data center networking, and infrastructure security. On with the news!
Nokia, Ericsson Test Network Slicing with Google
In separate trials, both Nokia and Ericsson demonstrated 5G network slicing capabilities with Google. Nokia showcased slicing over 4G and 5G networks at a network slicing development center in Tampere, Finland, using UE route selection policy technology (USRP) along with a Google Pixel 6 (Pro) smartphone running android 13. URSP capabilities enable a smartphone to “connect to multiple network slices simultaneously via different enterprise and consumer applications depending on a subscriber’s specific requirements. Ericsson conducted a similar network slicing trial using its own gear combined with URSP tech and a Google Pixel 6 (Pro) device using Android 13.
Eucast Global Targets Municipalities, Enterprises With its Base Stations
Denver-based Eucast Global is bringing a South Korean-developed’ network-in-a-box’ technology to the U.S., where it can be used as a private network or integrated with an existing wide area network. Eucast’s base stations need a power source and a backhaul connection, and that backhaul can come from a cell tower or fiber connection, or it can connect to a satellite network. The company’s self-contained base stations are being tested by first responders that want to bring cell service to hard-to-reach areas, oil and gas companies that want a private networking system, and municipalities for residential broadband. In addition, mobile operators are also testing Eucast’s base stations as a way to boost their network coverage.
T-Mobile Outfitted Yankee Stadium with 5G
T-Mobile upgraded its network at Yankee Stadium to provide 5G capability and also double the capacity for LTE within the stadium. Specifically, the company launched 5G on its 2.5 GHz spectrum, called Ultra Capacity 5G, in certain sections of the stadium. The company said that more 5G upgrades will occur in 2023.
2.5GHz Spectrum Auction Ends, Raising $428M
The FCC’s 2.5GHz spectrum auction ended in late August after more than 70 rounds of bidding. The auction generated just $428 million, far below what other recent mid-band spectrum auctions have raised. T-Mobile is expected to walk away with the bulk of the licenses. The FCC has not yet released the winning bidders. The auction started in late Judy and released about 8,000 spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz band.
T-Mobile, SpaceX Team to End Wireless Dead Zones
T-Mobile and SpaceX announced a partnership intended to put an end to cellular ‘dead zones’ in the U.S. by allowing T-Mobile devices to connect to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite communications network in areas of the U.S. where there is no cellular coverage. The partnership is in its early stages, but the companies said they plan to use a dedicated slice of T-Mobile’s mid-band 1.9 GHz PCS spectrum and integrate base-station type equipment with Starlink satellites to provide the necessary connectivity link. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said it’s similar to putting a “cellular tower in the sky” and said that the majority of T-Mobile’s existing phones would support the service. The two companies said they plan to start testing the technology in late 2023 but did not provide a timeline for when the service might launch commercially.
O-RAN Alliance Searches for New Leadership
The O-RAN Alliance is looking for new leadership after AT&T’s Andre Fuetsch, chairman of the board, stepped down from his position at the end of August. Fuetsch recently retired from his role at AT&T. In the meantime, Alex Jinsung Choi with Deutsche Telekom has been named interim chairman of the board until the next chair can be appointed.
UK’s Virgin Media O2 Went Live with O-RAN
UK operator Virgin Media O2 activated open RAN technology in macro sites in its network in the Northamptonshire region. The operator worked on the multi-vendor open RAN deployment with NEC and Rakuten Symphony and is using its existing telco cloud supply chain. Virgin Media O2 said that these open RAN sites in its network are able to handle commercial traffic. This commercial deployment comes after the three companies conducted an open RAN lab trial last year.
Mavenir Raises $95M as Rumors of Layoffs Loom
Open RAN firm Mavenir raised another $95 million, but this time the company did it via public debt. But at the same time, the company hinted that it might have to shuffle some of its workforce to optimize its financial situation. Mavenir’s rival Parallel Wireless recently underwent a round of layoffs. Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli told Light Reading that the company grew from 3,200 employees in March 2020 to 6,000 employees in May 2022. Kohli said that the company’s headcount would remain the same at the end of the year, but it may let some people go in certain areas and hire in other areas.
AT&T Signs a Five-year Deal with Oracle
AT&T extended its existing cloud partnership with Oracle for another five years. Specifically, Oracle will maintain AT&T’s internal databases and applications on its cloud platforms, including its Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which allows AT&T to automate its financial and supply chain tracking. In addition, AT&T will use Oracle’s Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX), and Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure will support AT&T’s IT modernization and data center consolidation. This latest contract builds on a similar one AT&T signed with Oracle in 2017. At that time, AT&T agreed to move thousands of AT&T’s internal databases to the Oracle Cloud infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and the platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
VMware Takes Multi-cloud to the Next Level
VMware made a series of upgrades to its cloud software, focusing primarily on a new multi-cloud management product and enhanced managed edge solution. The multi-cloud software, called VMware Aria, is designed to help enterprises manage the cost, performance, and delivery of infrastructure and cloud-native applications. To do this, VMware Aria uses a graph-based data store called Aria Graph to capture application resources in near real-time. Other features include business insights that leverage AI and machine learning analytics as well as automated enforcement of networking, security, and cost compliance. For the edge, VMware updated its Edge Compute Stack to include a higher-performing GPU to enable AI and machine learning use cases. The stack also now supports smaller cluster sizes when running containers on smaller commercial off-the-shelf hardware.
VMware teams with IBM on Hybrid Cloud
VMware is partnering with IBM to help enterprise clients and partners modernize mission-critical workloads and expedite the multi-cloud. The expanded relationship includes positioning IBM Consulting as a VMware GSI partner and delivering jointly engineered IBM and VMware cloud solutions. The target customers are those in regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and the public sector.
Arista Acquires Pluribus Networks to Bolster its Unified Cloud Networking
Arista Networks snapped up software-defined networking pioneer Pluribus Networks. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Los Altos, CA-based Pluribus is known for its Adaptive Cloud Fabric software that can be deployed across a service provider, data center, or hyperconverged environment. The Adaptive Cloud Fabric gathers network telemetry data from Ethernet switches built on Broadcom’s Trident3 and Trident4 programmable Ethernet-switch chips. Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of Arista announced the acquisition during the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call and said that the Pluribus acquisition would help Arista bring more capabilities to its Unified Cloud Fabric.
Vapor IO Is Ready to Light Up Data Centers in Two Dozen Markets
Vapor IO says it is ready to expand its network of mini data centers to more locations. The company, which currently has data centers in six markets, says it has proven that its business model and technology work, and now it’s ready to expand. In addition, Matthew Trifiro, Vapor IO’s CMO told FierceTelecom that its 20-kilowatt data centers can be up and running within 90 days. Trifiro said that once the data center is shipped to its proper site, it can be up and running within 3 to 6 hours. The company has data centers in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Dallas and is currently working on deploying data centers in four additional markets.
HPE’s Aruba SD-WAN is ICSA Certified
Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise SD-WAN platform received ICSA Lab’s first secure SD-WAN certification, which means it passed third-party testing and certification that measures the product’s compliance, reliability, and performance. ICSA Labs is an independent division of Verizon that provides third-party testing and certification. HPE’s Aruba said that the certification is noteworthy because wide-area networking and security are closely linked.
Lumen’s Edge VM Gives Businesses On-demand Compute and Storage
Lumen Technologies is making it possible for businesses to get access to on-demand computing, storage and secure networking with its Lumen Edge Virtual Machines (VM) solution. Lumen Edge VM is available on the Lumen Marketplace and will help businesses deploy and run their applications by giving them flexibility for their compute configurations and storage size. Businesses also have access to Lumen management and orchestration tools. The Lumen Edge VM runs on the Lumen fiber network so businesses can run their workloads and applications at the network edge and have access to distributed compute services across dispersed markets.
Amazon Launches AWS Private 5G Using CBRS Spectrum
Amazon Web Services made its private 5G service for enterprises generally available. The company, which first announced its plans for a private 5G product last year, said that its private 5G network can be installed and operational in a matter of days. However, although AWS is touting its private network product as 5G, it isn’t 5G yet. Instead, it is using LTE but is “5G ready.” AWS said that the 5G equipment isn’t quite ready yet so that’s why it’s launching with 4G. The solution runs on Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum in the General Authorized Access (GAA) tier, which means it’s the unlicensed part of the CBRS band. In addition, AWS’ Private 5G product supports only an order of one small cell radio unit, and up to 100 SIMS per network site; however, the company said that support for additional radio units and a higher number of SIMs is in the works. AWS said it will charge an hourly rate based upon the number of radio units that the customer orders, with a minimum commitment of 60 days. Each radio unit is billed at $10/hour.
ABI Research: Manufacturers will have 49M 5G connections in 2030
An ABI Research report predicts that by 2030 manufacturing and industrial firms worldwide will have more than 49 million 5G connections inside their facilities and generate $2.4 billion in global connections revenue for suppliers. However, ABI said that the reason there hasn’t been a greater uptake of 5G private wireless by manufacturers is due to a dearth of 5G industrial devices. Device makers, discouraged by the slow uptake of 5G private networks, are instead making converged devices that support Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G. A June 2022 report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) found that of the 794 organizations that it tracks that have deployed a private wireless network, 76% have deployed LTE instead of 5G
Verizon Business Will Manage Astellas Pharma’s Network
Global pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma has hired Verizon to manage its global network infrastructure. Specifically, Verizon will design and build a secure network that will connect Astellas’ 70 locations and manage tens of thousands of devices and network endpoints. The Verizon/Astellas deal will include managed WAN, LAN, managed security services, secure gateways, zero-trust network access, unified communications, and collaboration-as-a-service.
Verizon and Astellas have worked together before. In 2016 Astellas deployed Verizon’s secure cloud interconnect so it could connect to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure’s public clouds.
NTT, VMware Make a Managed Edge Platform for Private 5G
NTT and VMware are launching a managed edge computing platform with private 5G capabilities. Called Edge-as-a-service, the platform is based on VMware’s edge compute stack and runs on Intel’s network and edge technology. NTT says it delivers near-zero latency for enterprise locations at the network edge. The companies said that the product is intended for enterprise clients that want a one-stop shop for edge services and don’t want to integrate products from different vendors.
Google to Shutter IoT Core
Google announced that it will shut down its IoT Core product in August 2023. The announcement appeared on Google’s IoT Core website. MachNation analysts said that they believe the reason Google is shuttering its IoT platform is because of the difficulty in adhering to security standards. Google has not introduced any new features since it first launched. Enterprises using Google’s IoT Core will have to migrate to other platforms in the next year.
SD-WAN and SASE
Dell’Oro Group Says SASE Market Will Exceed $13B by 2026
Dell’Oro Group revised its five-year forecast for the secure access service edge (SASE) market and now says it will exceed $13 billion by 2026. The research firm said that SASE revenue doubled from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to nearly triple by 2026. Mauricio Sanchez, Dell’Oro research director, told SDxCentral that the segment is experiencing “massive growth,” and while that growth may slow down, the firm does not expect it to stop growing altogether. Dell’Oro also noted that the security service edge (SSE) market grew 40% year-over-year in the first quarter of this year, and its revenue exceeded $800 million.
Comcast Business Partners with Fortinet on SASE and SSE
Comcast said that its new Comcast Business Secure Gateways will give customers the option to choose either SASE or SSE from Fortinet and couple it with Equinix’s flexible cloud connection to have a secure network service. Comcast Business said that by collaborating with Fortinet, it would be able to give enterprises more flexibility when it comes to their choice of cloud architecture and vendors. Comcast added that a recent CIO survey conducted by Masergy and Fortinet revealed that 98% of enterprise IT leaders believe the convergence of network and security is critical, and 94% said that their adoption of SASE is accelerating.
Versa’s SASE is Integrated with cloudIT’s Network
Versa integrated its secured access service edge (SASE) with managed service provider cloudIT
to provide a secure integration between the customer and cloudIT’s network. CloudIT works primarily with small and medium-sized companies and needs a SASE and SD-WAN offering for its clients. The company previously had used Cisco Meraki for its SD-WAN and SASE, but since it runs three of its own data centers as an IT provider, many of its clients wanted an integrated product.
Lumen Launches Simplified SASE With VMware and Fortinet
Lumen Technologies partnered with VMware and Fortinet to offer a secure access service edge (SASE) that leverages the Lumen Platform and makes it easy for enterprises to set up. The SASE is available through the Lumen Marketplace with oversight handled by a customer portal. Customers can select the SASE solution they want and decide whether to manage it themselves or have Lumen control the deployment, implementation, and oversight on their behalf. Services today are from VMware and Fortinet, though Lumen plans to add more partners.
Lumen Mitigated a 1.06 Tbps DDoS Attack
Lumen revealed in its quarterly distributed denial of service (DDoS) report that it mitigated one of its largest attacks ever — a 1.06 Tbps attack that was part of a larger campaign targeting a single victim. Despite the size and complexity of the attempted attack, Lumen said the target did not experience any downtime. The attack was not only large, but it also involved multiple techniques: fraudulently using cloud-based services, “hit-and-run,” and attacking VoIP targets.
Verizon Uses Juniper Gear to Increase Capacity of Fiber Network
Verizon is upgrading its fiber network with an optical core from Juniper Networks that will make it possible for Verizon to quadruple the capacity of its fiber network. Verizon said that the new equipment uses the latest 400 Gbps per port optical technology, and its new upgradeable optical core will be able to meet customers’ growing demands for data through 2032. It is also upgradeable to future 800 Gbps and 1 Tbps per port optical technology.
And that wraps it up! We’ll see you back here at the beginning of October, post-Mobile World Congress Americas in Las Vegas (or maybe we’ll see you in person at the show). Until then, stay safe!